So much religious talk is about naming, about describing a general reality in particular terms. This is important. But in our increasingly secular culture, it’s always striking when someone gets at deep religious truth without bothering with religious language. For instance, Jay Smooth offers a pretty crisp explication here of the nature of sin and virtue.
Mennonites for example are actually 20 percent nonwhite in North America, and mostly non-white when considered from a global perspective. They are not the Mennonite Church you imagine in your head.
Merely speaking about this incident and mentioning racism resulted in the common backlash accusation of playing this mythical item. It is used over and over again by some white people instead of engaging in dialogue through sharing and listening, the choice is made to stigmatize and scapegoat those that disagree that America is mostly a colorblind post-racial nation. There are certain scripts that the white majority learns and rehearses through subtle socialization in dominant culture. Rather than doing the hard work of careful in-depth investigation of the matter, quick cliché dismissals are used to uphold the status quo. The status quo is silence about racism other than pointing out the overt cases, as well as getting into extensive conversation about reverse racism. While I have often gotten frustrated by these little remarks that dismiss black experiences without doing the hard work of listening and wrestling with another perspective, I decided that from now on I was going to “play along” with their game.
For black Americans, the abuse of power by police is not an aberration. It’s a familiar pattern.
What would it mean for us to be filled with the breath of God again and come to life for the sake of racial justice?
First, we condemn The Gospel Coalition’s editorial leadership for its moral and pastoral failure in publishing such an anti-black viewpoint. No Christian organization should ever participate in dishonoring the image of God in black people, especially at a time when so many black Americans are in pain. Second, we lament the internalized anti-black racism that Pastor Voddie conveyed in his article and the fact that it has been used to further support White-on-Black violence among Christians. Here, we offer a different perspective, one that we believe honors the image of God in black people.
At the vigil for Ferguson, I stumbled over singing "We Shall Overcome." I have remarkably little, personally, to overcome in my life.
It seems like everywhere you go Christians in one way or another are talking about Christendom. Actually, the word being used most is post-Christendom.